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Off On A Rant

Discussion in 'Yacht Captains' started by cranky, Feb 25, 2007.

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  1. cranky

    cranky New Member

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    Is it just me or is it really so. It seems to me that since the advent of all these formal qualifications in yachting that the amount of people truely passionate about yachts, yachting and all things involved has all but disappeared. It seems to be nearly impossible to find a deckhand who can lay a good coat of varnish or for that matter even want to learn. All they want to do is get enough money to go to school to become a Captain. Then they think it's beneath them to do such menial tasks. It is by doing these tasks that one truely gets to know the yacht they are working on and it is this knowledge that is the basis of true seamanship. And is not a captain an accomplished seaman.
  2. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Whatever, they┬┤ll all need sea-time so there will be plenty of time to teach them how to do things...
  3. cranky

    cranky New Member

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    Yes they do need sea time in my view not enough before sitting for their ticket.However you can not make people learn if they don't want to. Reciently I decided I needed some new dock lines so I asked my deckhand to do some splicing, he didn't know how. So I gave him a couple of books on marlinspike seamanship, the same ones I used 30 years ago. I ended up doing the job myself. His comment was that every other boat he had been on they bought them already made up. Now he wants me to sign him off so that he can go to school and get his MCA 4, I will but I am not happy. I had a bit of gripe about this with a couple of my friends who have been around for a while, they all feel the same.

    I guess I am just that cranky old bugger :D But without a passion for what you do then you are just run of the mill. To me people in yachting should hold themselves to a higher standard.
  4. CaptPKilbride

    CaptPKilbride Senior Member

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    Cranky,
    I understand your complaint, and do not have an answer for you.

    I have always tried to hire peope new to the industry who would like to learn the ropes and be the best they can be, much in the manner you have described how you started out. Sometimes you just have to play the hand you were dealt when it comes to your crew, I guess.

    In the situtation you have mentioned with needing new docklines, I would have asked the deckhand to do the splicing with me. For one thing, someone who has been doing splicing for a while will be able to bring a newbie along far quicker and better than having a read through in the book and trying to do it by trial and error. Second of all, I would feel better about the quality of the splices knowing that I had osberved the deckahand whilst doing it.

    Anyways, I think there are still young people who are passionate about yachts and yachting out there, but it seems with the advent of bigger boats all the time that are in need of crew, that the old ways of "working your way up" have disappeared.

    Good rant though. Hoping to hear how others feel as well.
  5. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    I know what you mean and consider this a universal problem. A carpenter today just need to know how to start the cnc-machine to make the job for him. The varnish is sprayed by robots and the invoice is from a PC-program.

    Still, some people will always learn the traditional methods and those are the survivors when things start to go wrong...
  6. cranky

    cranky New Member

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    I don't mind playing schoolmaster to a degree. And have done so in the past. But what gets me is that it seems like the majority of people coming into yachting have fallen into it, and are really just here for the money and perks.

    But thats enough of beating on deckhands. I see the same issues in all departments. I really wonder if by goverments regulating the industry it has lowered the standards. If by enforcing a minimum standard that, then minimum standard became the norm.
  7. el_CAPeeTAN06

    el_CAPeeTAN06 New Member

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    All I used to care about was making money when I got older. I couldn't find anything that I liked and paid well at the same time. I asked my father how he became so successfull, and he told me "Just do the one thing that you are passionate about most, and the money will come." So, I stopped thinking about money and focused on my interests. I like boats, so I thought, why not a yacht captain? I discovered that I love everything about yachts.

    I am one of those young people who is passionate about yachts. I've decided that being a captain is my career choice. Yachting is all I want to do. I can't understand why a deckhand would complain about doing "menial tasks." I understand that they want to be a captain, but the ones who are passionate about yachting are content about just being on a yacht/boat.

    I don't know how to lay a good coat of varnish, or much of anthing, but it would be incredible to learn these skills. I would do anything just to step foot on a yacht everyday. I think that if a deckhand doesn't want to start at the bottom and work his way up, then they haven't deserved to be a captain.
  8. cranky

    cranky New Member

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    Give that man a beer
  9. cranky

    cranky New Member

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    Just read your bio, remind me that I owe you one in a few years.
  10. el_CAPeeTAN06

    el_CAPeeTAN06 New Member

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    :cool: I'll hold you to it
  11. CaptTom

    CaptTom Senior Member

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    Cranky,
    Good thoughts. The problem is not just with crew, but everyone. Everyone in society should hold themselves to a higher standard. If so, streets would be cleaner, contractors will be on time, products wouldn't break so quickly, etc. My father always told me do what you want in life, just be the best at it. And he's right, why settle? The fact that I try to succeed with the things I do gives me the comfort that I have tried and done my best, probably makes me a few more bucks at times, keeps the customer coming back and lets me sleep at night. Too many times people look for the easy way out, either due to lazyness, lack of drive, to beat the system, whatever.
    If a deckhand wants to excel, he/she should want to know the basics like splicing a line, navigating on a paper chart, shooting a star, or learning the painstaking task of varnishing. A well rounded captain has done many of the tasks and jobs on a vessel, as it makes them a better captain, project manager, boss, mentor and leader.
  12. CaptPKilbride

    CaptPKilbride Senior Member

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    Tom,
    Good Post, and just as an addendum, a good captain is one that would not ask one of the crew to do something that he has not, or would not, do himself.
    Knowing how to do, and having done, every job aboard makes it easier to ask someone else to do it.
  13. CaptTom

    CaptTom Senior Member

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    Right you are, Capt P.
  14. Crewagency

    Crewagency Guest

    Deckhands

    Cranky, that is exactly what I feel.
    I get nearly 10 CVs every day from OOW, Mates,Chief Mates and 500 ton Captains but only 1 from a deckhand with some experience on Yachts or work boats. Thats why I place deckhands from the Phillipines where ever possible.
    This guys learned what the have to do as deckhand and also in their free time they are willing to read books and learn.
    In the moment I got requests from experienced Yacht owners in the 30m range and they asked for a Captain with a 3000 ton ticket ! Why ? In case that also Owners know that a 3000 ton Captain maybe never sailed in the Captains position but they have minimum 2 Years in watchkeeping.
    I also think that certificates are a must but for me seatime counts and I never got wrong when I placed a Captain who builds up his career from Deck to the brigde.
    Also if you have some close friends as Captains you will never work as deckie.
    " OOW Certificate means 3 years signed on a Crew list but proved only by PERSONAL LOGBOOK ENTRIES ACCOMPANIED BY TESTIMONIALS " I think that says all.
    So I will asked some of my good Captain friends and will apply for a OOW position next week. OH sorry forgot that I have to stay 40 days at school.
    Than 12 month watchkeeping and again 30 days at school and I will come with my 499 ton Yacht to check your fenders and the stability of some piers.
    But maybe I found a 1 Officer with commercial background and let him drive so that I can concentrate to fullfil my MINI ISM and to fill out all this papers that everybody wants to see.
    Good luck for this upcoming season.
  15. TSI AV

    TSI AV Senior Member

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    I have to agree with all above mentioned... unfortunately

    Hi,

    Yes, "sad, but true..." (Metallica ?:D )
    Guys, "Skol !", "Proost !", "Cheers !" "Na zdorovje !"... Beer for everyone !:D

    Looks like this kind of problem is not only in yachting...

    Where are real SEAMEN ? I mean people, who love to sail, NOT to "survive" the contract ?

    People, who understand, that: "you can't fly without learning how to run..."
    Where are they ???

    When I visit a ship, first I speak with motormen, ABs, Bosuns. They are aged, "hands on" experienced, trustable guys. They still have a DRIVE !!!
    For some reasons, they know better, what is happening onboard, when to change filters, what is in stock, what spares should be ordered, what was done (not done) recently... etc., etc., etc.


    "Top" officers normally start talk about "may be to increase my salary, because I have to upgrade my license"

    "Working with hand" is not appreciated at all.

    Have You ever seen Superintendent, who makes main engine's overhaul almost alone ? Adjusting Controllable Pitch Propeller ? Welding on deck ? Repairing radar ? Rebuilding electrical cabinets ?
    Explaining ch. mate how to follow steel repairs / painting process ?
    So, it's me...

    Crewagency, will You hire me ? Seriously ?

    Guys, the situation we discuss, is reality and not gonna improve... I gave up already...

    Good attitude + drive + proff. + "I love job" = so rare nowedays...

    Kind regards,

    Andrei
  16. Codger

    Codger YF Wisdom Dept.

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    Hiring expertise

    A year and a bit ago a friend was sorting through a stack of CVs for the position of corporate pilot on a middle weight jet. He was willing to pay top dollar so there was a ton of applications. Leaning towards a few type rated pilots with lots of time.
    Looking through the secondary info, education, hobbies etc. There was one candidate whose hobby was flying, nothing else. I suggested putting this one on the short list although the corp HR people had put a negative note regarding this candidate's "doesn't have a life", not rated on type, and that being in his mid 50s he'd be coming up to retirement fairly soon. Long story short.. I tagged along for dinner a couple of weeks later and it turned out that this pilot just plain out loved flying. Had rebuilt a Citabria and built a Christensen Eagle as a partner from scratch. All this, while flying commercial heavies and bringing up a couple of children that had both made it through university. He got the job and got the TR in short order. The only issue that has ever come up is that he'll take anyone that expresses any interest at all to the pointy end for a tour, including ramp rats at airports just about any place you can think of. It's only an issue for corp desk/chair warmers. The owner is now taking his PPL.
    I recounted this only because there are people out there that truly have a passion for their professions and sometimes they are not the most obvious candidates.
  17. cranky

    cranky New Member

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    It makes me feel much better that I am not alone with this frustration. I have always believed that if you loved what you did and did your best then everything else would follow. But I was begining to wonder if I had that wrong because so many seem to believe that if you find an industry with a lot of money you can bull**** your way to the top. Sorry about the laungage but I couldn't find a better word for it.
  18. Gareth

    Gareth New Member

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    I was in the business from 79 to 89, kids came along and I swallowed the anchor. It's regurgitating a bit now.

    To Cranky's point though, I think he may be looking through a rose coloured rear view mirror. Back in my day, there were lots of people in it for the glamour and the lifestyle. Plenty (I'd say most) with poor seamanship skills. The only place that I'd concur is that there are now more people with poor certificates but still poor seamanship skills.

    In many ways this is old news too. There were always (at least in the U.S. and the Caribbean) people who believed their Coast Guard Licenses gave them license to drive what they wanted.

    If I can drift a bit, I'm not holding myself up as a great seaman, but I enjoy boats and work most of the time to increase my knowledge and skills, I've always related somewhat to "owners" because they usually like their boats too. I hated those captains, who assumed the owners owned the boats for reasons other than enjoyment and actually put obstacles in the way of the owner enjoying the boat.

    my two bobs worth -- talk amongst yourself.
  19. yotphix

    yotphix New Member

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    I splice. I am rarely asked to. Most captains just order the lines cut and spliced, leaving crew to focus on making shiny things shiny. No big deal. At one time, I'm sure, people used to make their own varnish. Times change. I definitely don't love motoryachts. I do love doing my job well, and having my yacht as close to perfect in every way as is in my power. I like it alot when the boss looks proud of his boat. I don't think that's too uncommon.
  20. JHA

    JHA Senior Member

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    Pleasant surprise

    The other day I was chatting with a day-worker. I mentioned that I was bringing on a guy to "do the varnish". Not because I can't, just because I don't have the time at this particular moment. The day worker looked at me with this <shocked> look on his face... "Well hell, I can do the varnish, why didn't you ask"? What a pleasant surprise. I found out that the mate on another boat, a mate that I had taught years ago, had taught this dayworker how to varnish. The ones who love it will breed more passion for it than the ones who are here just because this is where they landed. And Darwin will take care of the rest.